I have just returned from racing across the Atlantic in a 211ft ketch, one of the biggest sailing boats in the world. It’s a long way to go in a straight line! After 3 weeks away from my family, I was very happy to return home, especially safely – those big boats are fraught with danger. You need to be really careful.

It’s a great time to be in NZ with the summer coming up. Every year I find the summer in NZ inspirational. We live so close to everything, lakes, mountains, beaches. It’s the perfect weather to get into some form of fun, and we have so many opportunities.

Even though I am full time sailing now with Team NZ, I have learnt to enjoy time away from sport. Although we work long hours, there is some balance. Spare a thought for the athletes going to the London Olympics this year. They are living a life style at the moment which is full on. There will be little holidaying or partying, some will be lucky to have Christmas day off, and that will be about it! Every other day will be another day of hard training.

In my earlier years, training used to be a bit more relaxed, you trained hard in winter but summers were pretty cruisy. That has changed dramatically. Full time/ all year round training is simply what is required to compete at that level now - There is no magic wand.

Any way -if you can, take time to enjoy the summer in NZ. I travel a lot with sailing and get to see many of the most beautiful places in the world. I still proudly believe we have the best place to live. Have a great summer - Happy day’s!